WEDDING + RECEPTION DRESS LOVE | plus some hair ‘dos | The Long and Short of It…

Hello, and good morning, everyone!  Hope you’re having a pleasant little Monday so far.  And to all the mommas out there, I hope you all had a splendid Momma’s Day, yesterday!  A quick shout-out goes out to my Mom and my rad sister, Jenny.  They = fantastic mamacitas who make tasty margaritas.  Well, my sister makes the margies.  But my Mom and I loooooove drinking them!  Ooohhh I could go for a Jenny margie right now.  On the rocks, extra lime.  Wait, it’s Monday morning and these are my thoughts.  Baaaad, Alison.  Baaaad.

I’m gonna move from drunkenness to dresses, without skipping a beat…

Ok, honestly, I don’t know how any of you could possibly pick just one dress at this point in the game.  There’s just too much pretty out there.

You know the effect that Coldplay’s manufactured sound has on most of us?  The way it calms things down and gives us those occasional happy shivers?  These frocks have the same effect on me…

Center Stage Dress in Champagne

This is quite obviously today’s reception dress pick.  LOVE.

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Now, for some wedding dress wow factor love.  FORM OF: Monique Lhullier !

{ Via Wedding Style Guide… }

{ Via Style Me Pretty… }

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By the way, I have a couple of hairstyle comments/suggestions to make.

This:

… is how my dear mother styled my hair when I was a wee babe.  She worked it up into a clean bun, shimmied me into my dress, and called me Pebbles.  So, while I have some of the cutest baby photos you’ve ever seen, I can’t imagine wearing my hair in a similar style on my wedding day.  Of course, I’m biased – I don’t want friends and family I’ve known since birth reminiscing about my baby hair ‘dos while I’m to-having and t0-holding.  ‘Cause that would be what happened if I wore my hair like this.  Which I won’t.  Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

On the other hand, this:

… is AWESOME.  (By the way, I found both of these over at Elle.)  It’s really quite perfect for a laid-back, backyard affair… if you love ponytails but don’t want to look like you dialed it in on your wedding day.  Personally, I love ponytails (my go-to ‘do), and am always on the search for ways to change it up.  So, naturally, I love this.  Of course, it may err a little on the side of being too casual, so here, check out my top five tips for great wedding day hair if you’re looking for some fabulous ‘dos for your lovely lady locks.  ;)

xoxo!

Alison

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{ DRESS LOVE } Sarah Seven will dress you up in heaven…

I’m really starting to fall for this dress-making diva, Sarah Seven.  She’s a force in the industry, and her unique, super feminine frocks have been speaking to me, lately.  Volumes.  With their frills and folds, their taut waistlines and flirty, unfinished hemlines, her creations have the unique femininity sought after by so many brides, let alone women in general.

I’m curious, what do you think of these frocks?  Do they fit your style?

By the way, if you like what you see here, you can visit Sarah Seven’s Etsy shop to check out what’s available!

Photos: Sarah Seven

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{ LINGERIE + FACE LOVE } Lara Stone for Eres… + pink lips and yellow eyelids

Holy s***.

By the way, I love a matte frosted pink lip and wet yellow eye.  Just felt like telling you.

Credits: Fashionising // True North Style

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FRESH FASHION ♡ spring/summer line love… ♡ New Collection from Reiss!

Love.  These.

By the way, that model is STUNNING, is she not?  Maybe it’s really just her face and awesome hair that sell these threads for me.  ‘Cause I am hook, line and sinker for each and every one of them.  And I usually don’t adore an entire line like I do this one.  But just look at that punim!  I think she’s the only person in the world who could sell me a pair of overalls.

Some of these looks would work brilliantly as your (slightly risqué) reception frock, no?  Like this one, for instance:

There’s something about this dress that I love… alas, I’m a mere 5’4, and this shape requires HEIGHT.  So I shall continue to admire it from afar (as is so often my fate!).

Love the lace going on here – very bridal.  Not a HUGE fan of the pants, but then again… 5’4.

Umm… yes, please:

Photos: Reiss // via Dress Design Decor

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WEDDING LINGERIE LOVE | Keep it Pretty… Pretty Itty Bitty.

I love the Summer 2010/Special Issue of New York Weddings.  It’s really good.  SO good, in fact, that I’ve been in the habit of keeping it on my person wherever I go for the last couple of weeks or so.  And I must say, their site is no less entertaining and informative.

Here are some lingerie suggestions I picked up on a recent visit.  These would be quite the delightful bridal shower gift for any bride-to-be.  Though, I’m sure those of us who love this kind of stuff will be more than tempted to, uhh, take things into our own hands…

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Myla Annabelle peek-a-boo bra/button-back knicker ~ Journelle; 3 E. 17th St.; 212-255-7800.

Kiki de Montparnasse pearl restraints ~ Kiki de Montparnasse; 79 Greene St.; 212-965-8070.

Commando Better Than Nothing thong ~ Journelle; 3 E. 17th St.; 212-255-7800.

(Whoa.)

Myla Body Silk strapless bra/suspender belt/thong ~ Journelle; 3 E. 17th St.; 212-255-7800.

Damaris Faroux bra/knickers ~ catrionamackechnie.com.

The Lake & Stars Trick Date silk-chiffon chemise ~ Journelle; 3 E. 17th St.; 212-255-7800.

Kiki de Montparnasse Muse corselette bra/tuxedo panty ~ Kiki de Montparnasse ; 79 Greene St.; 212-965-8070.

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Photos: Hannah Whitaker // Source: New York Magazine

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WEDDING GOWN + ACCESSORY LOVE | Jenny Packham | That Hot Oscars Gown + How You Can Make it Sparkle…

Miley Cyrus wore this sparkling beauty of a gown at the Oscars, and I had mixed feelings about it.  First, check it out on one of Packham’s (especially angry looking) models.  A lovely gown, it is.  I’m a fan of the yellow backdrop, as well.  It’s bright and uplifting, but, most of all, seems to be doing its part to summon a long overdue Brady Bunch musical reunion special.

… Pretty dress, right?  Pretty unique, pretty sparkly, pretty corsetty without being too corsetty… overall, quite pretty, indeed.  However, on such a young starlet like Miley (she wore it to the 82nd Annual Academy Awards on March 7), I have to admit, I felt more than a little uncomfortable looking at her.   Because when I look at her, I believe I’m looking at a 28 year old woman.

But, like Dr. Oz says, “it’s time for her real age…”

Here it comes…

… She was born November 23, 1992, and that makes her 17 years old.

17.

Okay, don’t get me wrong; she looks fabulous.  It’s just that it seems a little early in life to be dressing that adult.  And by adult, I mean letting it all hang out.  Which isn’t necessarily adult, per se.  But you catch my drift.

What really grosses me out is that my google search of “miley cyrus age” yielded, as its first result, a site entitled “Miley Cyrus Age Countdown,” the sole purpose of which is to count down the days until Miley turns 18 (in other words, becomes legal).  Gross.

So, while I am all about linking back and giving credit where credit is due, I will NOT be linking to that site.  I hope you understand.

Moving right along.

For the sake of discussion, let’s all agree to forget Miley’s so young.  Jenny Packham makes a ridiculously ravishing gown.  And Miley’s hair and makeup are marvelous.  Marvelous.  I mean, those are some EYELASHES, girl.  You clearly aren’t kidding around.  All in all, we’ve got some truly great inspiration for a bridal look worthy of an awards show.

Now for a little bling inspiration…

Okay, so that’s what Miley wore.  However, I’d like to offer up to you some of my own glitzy suggestions, all from Packham’s Spring 2010 line:

Jenny’s got some fabulous bling going on for Spring, I do not lie.  It’s beyond hot and I’m a little obsessed.  (Stay tuned if you want to see the rest; I’m planning to feature lots more of her bright, flashy line in an upcoming post!)

One last thing.  Here’s the lad with whom she spent significant chunks of time that night.  Cutie, right?  They’re starring in a movie together that I will likely not go to see.  But best of luck to them both.

His name is Liam Hemsworth, and he was by Miley’s side as they attended the 18th Annual Elton John AIDS Foundation Academy Award Party in West Hollywood, California.  Good golly, Miss Miley.  Nicely done.

Credits:

So, let me know, what did you think of Miley’s look?  Was she super chic in Packham?  Also, would you consider wearing this gown for your wedding?  Weigh in; I’m dying to hear your thoughts!

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♡ WEDDING PARTY ♡ Second Installment ♡ ………..VERA WANG RUNWAY SHOW………..

Remember this sneak peek?  Of course you do – I haven’t experienced so much positive feedback since transitioning out of diapers.

Now, for this post, I’m gonna do something CRAZY.  And that’s cut the small talk.  Because this series of posts speaks volumes, and I don’t feel like shouting to share the stage.  ;) However, before we begin, here’s a quick word to the wise:

Bigger is always better…

So click on each photo if you want to feel like you were there with me.

Alright, without further adieu, I present to you… Vera.


Breathtaking, right?  When this show began, I remember becoming consumed by what was strutting immediately before me.  Unable to keep it inside, I turned to a friend seated next to me to whisper how I felt… “A sense of calm has washed over me.  I feel like I’m lazing in a spa, or floating on a thick cloud.  This is INTOXICATING.”


… Oh, and by the way, we are SO not done.

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TOP FIVE TIPS FOR GREAT WEDDING HAIR | What You Must Know to Look Your Best on Your Big Day… No, SERIOUSLY.

All the time, as I walk the streets of New York, Westchester and the Island of Long, I see girls who look absolutely stunning in their everyday lives.  Many sport low ponies, others rock side-swept bangs.  They look great; their chosen styles suit them.  And, as a people watcher, I love good style.  It’s a treat for me.

But, come the wedding day, something changes for some brides.  It happens to so many of these normally stylishly coiffed contessas, something that I can describe only as a tragic disconnect between their naturally on point senses of style, and what they believe looks even better in the context of their wedding day.  Curls when they normally rock it straight, or a tight updo when they typically let if flow free.  Too often, my internal dialogue sounds something like this: “Shoot, you looked so good yesterday in your go-to high pony, why did you think pin curls were the right style for your big day?”  I just don’t get it!  This phenomenon I can’t fully explain.  It baffles me – though I do have some ideas.

I understand the desire for change, for something fresh, different, new… and, thus, presumptively more beautiful.  But it’s not every time that the latter follows the former.  And when I see it happen, a few signals go off in my head that lead me to some probable assumptions about what precipitated the mess up top.

I don’t want this to happen to any more brides.  I can’t in good conscience allow it.  I’ve spoken to too many brides who have expressed regret over their ‘day-of-do’ to let it go on any longer.

… So, I’ve created a quick reference list of the best advice I can offer when it comes to your wedding day locks.  SERIOUSLY, pay attention, I do this out of love…

5 Top Tips for Great Wedding Day Hair:

~ Consider how you wear your hair normally.  Is this somewhat chic, and would you consider it appropriate for a formal event?  Then maybe it’s the perfect look and you shouldn’t mess with a good thing.

~ Ask trusted friends and family.  Some- no, many people will lie to you because they don’t want to hurt your feelings.  Which can lead to hair fails.  And this is not the time for a hair fail.

~ Don’t be led by your stylist.  It doesn’t matter if the person doing your hair likes it; it matters if YOU like it.  Ok?  So be true to yourself.

~ It’s easier to be true to yourself when you plan ahead, as in arrange for a consultation/trial so you can actually take a mental (and actual) picture of what you can expect to look like.  This will also let you know if you and your chosen stylist are on the same page when it comes to the definition of looking good.

~ Always keep this in mind: he’s already proposed to you, which means he wants to spend the rest of his life with you, and you’ve looked the way you look now, all along.  You must look at least half-way decent already.

***

For inspiration, I have included within this post a veritable Smörgåsbord of hair styles I consider to be wedding-appropriate.  (Save for that very first one; that’s just for laughs… OF COURSE.)  Please hover over the images for their details and credits, which have been assigned where available.  Images without detailed information are courtesy of Polyvore.

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WILL YOU MARRY ME? | the great cake lollie proposal…

Bakerella does some amazing things with a little bit of flour, sugar and some lollie sticks.  But this project takes the cake.

It goes on, as you can imagine…

But, here’s the beauty part:

And, stop right there. That’s it – that’s where I start to tear up.

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Find out what prompted all of this and more, over at Bakerella.  If you have feelings, the story will touch your heart like crazy.  I tear up a bit every time I read it.  I have never met these people, and I tear up a bit.  You want to make fun of me?  Go ahead.  I may be ridiculous, but at least I have copious amounts of feelings that cannot be contained.

Happy Thursday, to all.

Alison

P.S. – Want more stuff related to engagements/proposals?  Here’s a whole category for you.  Enjoy!

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HOLIDAY BAKED TREATS LOVE | Festive Cupcakes That Go Way Beyond Icing and Sprinkles…

Want to make a serious impact this holiday season, but feel your typical treats just aren’t cutting it this year?  Or maybe you kinda sorta forgot to buy gifts for your family and friends, and it’s December 22 already.  Whoa, came outta nowhere, right?!

Okay, no worries, everything’s fine.  Bakerella has some major league ideas that are sure to drop jaws…

Show up on the scene holding a sweet lookin’ batch of any of the uber-creative confections below – all courtesy of the magnificent Bakerella – and you’ll finally be able to throw away your copy of “How to Win Friends and Influence People.”

It’s through their eyes and their stomachs, my friends.  Their eyes and their stomachs.

So, how about these adorable Coca-Cola Cupcakes?

(Sooo cute.)

My favorite part might be the multi-color shells you have to buy:

It’s a little involved, as you can see, so…

Go check out the instructions on how to Make These Coca-Cola Cupcakes.

Another one of Bakerella’s projects I adore:.

How PERFECT are these itty bitty cupcake Christmas trees?!!

To make them, you’ll need sugar cones…

Snowflake sprinkles…

And candy canes, just to name a few ingredients.


Want to try your hand at this? Here’s how to make these Candy Cane Christmas Tree Cupcakes.

Of course, it doesn’t stop there.  Bakerella has tons of ideas and recipes, and some seriously phenomenal photography to go along with it.  I especially love the shots that depict the initial steps of her baking process:

Okay… so I’m going to leave you with that for the time being, as I go bake something immediately, because I’ve just thoroughly enticed and tortured myself and unfortunately there’s no turning back… Talk soon!

.

S

{All images courtesy of Bakerella}

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FASHION for your HEALTH | your happiness and your look | Not Enough Sun in Your Life? Try Wearing it.

In her “Notes on Nursing: What It Is and What It Is Not,” English nurse Florence Nightingale wrote that light – preferably sunlight – plays an essential role in the process of getting well.  She also said that those of us who are ailing “should be able to see … sky and sunlight,” as she observed that most patients tended to lie with their faces turned towards the light, much in the way that “plants always make their way to the light.”

This is why doctors are always telling us to make sure we get enough Vitamin D.  Among its many purported health benefits, it is understood that the Vitamin D our body produces when our skin is exposed even to just a little bit of sunshine can actually make us feel better emotionally.  Which means it can literally and figuratively brighten our day!  That’s kind of awesome.

So, now that we know that sunlight is pretty important for our general well-being, it seems like it should be easy enough to get our hands on it – err, faces in it – right?  Just step into the light for 10-15 minutes and ta-da, you’ve got yourself enough rays for the day (well, health-wise; certainly not fun-wise).

Unfortunately, while at work, many of us do not have the privilege of being seated near south-facing windows, and still others have the misfortune of being caged inside of too-high cubicle walls, seemingly fated never to experience the touch and feel of daylight between the hours of 9am to 6pm.  (Which reminds me – when did the acceptable amount of hours in a typical work day go from 9 – 5 to 9 – 6?  When and WHY did this change?  Yes, I am asking you, The Man.)

Anyway… so what are we to do if we can’t spend some time outside, soaking up those warm winter rays?

Well, if you really don’t have any time at all to do it, then a) you’re being seriously overworked, and b) you might want to check with your doctor about alternative ways to get your daily dose – ’cause, for real, it’s important.

Beyond that, I’ve got some fashion advice: how about a fun, alternative way for you to get some light in your life?  While it won’t result in the production of Vitamin D, it will give you a seriously useful boost of confidence that should last well beyond sunset.  What is it?  Well, unless you’re interested in waking up at dawn to catch a few minutes of sunbeam satisfaction before you head off to work, I suggest dawning some glam threads that’ll serve to brighten your mood… not to mention many of those around you!  I love it when I see someone who has really put some effort into her look… especially if it’s on a day when I HAVEN’T!  :)

So, what to wear?  Today, I’ve gathered up a healthy mix of fun, shimmering, soft, chic and romantic looks for the flashion-obsessed bride!  Any sparkle or glow in your get-up will do; from a dress with lots of glitz, to a clutch that catches some serious light, to earrings that illuminate your immediate surroundings.  Whether you’re into a frock with some flash, or you prefer a soft, chic look that leaves the razzle-dazzle to a super accessory, it doesn’t matter… when you arrive at your bachelorette party in any one of these get-ups, you’ll look and feel hotter than each and every one of those girls on stage at your future hubby’s bach… I mean, any of those girls in their winter coats working the ski lifts at the lodge.  Because that’s where men go for bachelor parties; they go to ski lodges, and then they turn in early.  ;)

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Today’s Wedding Hair Award: Party in the Front!

Have you decided what you’ll be doing with your hair on your wedding day?  If you have, and today is not your wedding day, then kudos, I am impressed.  Keep reading only if you have not decided on your wedding day hair, you like pretty pictures, or you’re a stickler for finishing what you’ve started.  (Good for you; what are we without our idiosyncratic principles?)

Okay, so here’s the deal:

I have yet to decide how I’ll be wearing my hair the day of my wedding.  No, it’s not okay.  It’s a problem.

And it doesn’t help that everyone advises me differently.

For a while, I’ve been pretty certain that I’d like to wear it down, you know, the wavy look.  You’ve seen it on The Hills, and probably Baywatch (I think I’m dating myself for the first time with that reference).  It’s that beach babe look.  Here it is, on a celebrity:

Paltrow wavy hair

Anyway, some photographer friends of mine have said it’s a mistake to wear your hair down.  Okay, in some cases I can see that.  No amount of Extra Hold hairspray is going to help you on the edge of a cliff.  But in most other situations, I just don’t see the problem with letting my hair down!  Well, according to them, there’s an inevitable point during the reception, a certain tipping point of sorts, when a bride’s hair will go rogue and begin to look stringy in photos.  They did not say “may,” they said “will.”  So, apparently, to wear my hair down is to risk certain death… of my wedding photos.  Because half of those taken at my reception will be unusable due to my flyaway, homeless-looking wreck of a do.

Well, during a visit to The Wedding Chicks blog today, I caught a glimpse of a seriously great wedding photographer.  So, if you’re still out there searching for your wedding photographer, I strongly recommend checking out the swoon-worthy work of Denise Bovee.

Now back to the matter at hand.  My hair.  Hehe.  It’s IMPORTANT!

But seriously, it is.

No, seriously.

There have been only a handful of times so far in my wedding planning when I’ve seen an updo that could overtake wavy look‘s significant lead.

That takes us to some photos, taken by Bovee, of what a good hair day looks like…

Loose updo on a lovely blonde bride {image by Denise Bovee}

It's a style that looks both down and up! {image by Denise Bovee}

Loose updo coy shot, image by Denise Bovee

Aww.  Just darling. {image by Denise Bovee}

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